Recycling company Viridor is working with retailers Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and food packaging manufacturer Faerch Plast to put recycled black plastic into new food grade packaging.
The result is a circular economic solution to this material which will initially see 120 tonnes of black plastic recycled each month starting from July, and steadily increasing in volume over the next 18 months.
From next month, Viridor will start adding black plastic to the coloured plastic stream already recycled and using the new packaging for the three supermarket’s products.
Viridor’s commercial director Paul Ringham said: “The project team, working together since January, has proven that black plastic from household mixed recycling can be recycled into high quality mixed coloured ‘jazz’ flakes to create food grade packaging.
“The breakthrough took place at two Viridor facilities, the plastics recycling facility at Rochester, which is one of the most advanced optical sorting facilities in the UK, and the polymers reprocessing plant at Skelmersdale in Lancashire which takes recycled plastic and creates flakes and pellets to be used in the manufacturing process.”
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has welcomed this project and said: “This global leading scheme has the potential to mean the UK exports less of its waste, could divert huge amounts of plastic away from landfill and prevent virgin plastic entering the market in the first place.”